Tagged “Nutrition”

Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Educators See Advantages of Structured Recess for Students: Organized recess improves students' participation, behavior, and focus in the classroom, according to a nationwide survey conducted by California nonprofit Playworks. The structured playtime involves organized activities that promote nonviolent themes, such as games of tag that involve tapping fingers rather than slapping. Educators in Philadelphia, where 83 schools have structured recess, say the Playworks program gives students a positive outlet for excess energy.

Schools Vary in Approaches to Healthy Meals: California school districts approach healthy lunches for students in different ways, depending on the cost of the program, income levels, and foods common to the culture, according to this article. Orinda Intermediate School offers organic vegetables, jasmine rice, and Jamba Juice for its students with sophisticated palates, while West Oakland Middle School is working to use less meat, more whole grains, and scratch cooking but has seen some resistance from students.

San Francisco Schools Make It Easier for Students to Grab Breakfast: Schools in San Francisco are using a federal grant to expand "grab-and-go" breakfast programs that allow students to quickly pick up healthy foods, including fruit and cereal, as they head to class. Data found that many California children qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, but few take advantage of breakfast because the meals are served in the cafeteria and the students are often short on time.

Resources

Becoming A Man (B.A.M.): Youth Guidance's Becoming a Man program, or B.A.M., which is currently offered at Roberto Clemente High School in Chicago, Ill., is an evidence-based violence prevention and mentoring program that nurtures and develops social, emotional, and behavioral skills in young male students considered to be "at-risk" and vulnerable to gang violence. Watch a video about B.A.M. to learn more about the educational enrichment the program provides.

Health and Nutrition Teacher Resources: View up to five free lesson plans and classroom activities that teach a variety of health and nutrition topics for K–12 students, available in printer-friendly formats at TeacherVision.com. Many lessons are designed to be integrated into core subjects and engage learners.

Take Action

Vote for the Best Healthy School Lunch Recipes: A website lets users vote through May 15, 2011, for the best school lunch recipes from the USDA's Healthy Kids competition. Schools, chefs, and students were challenged to come up with healthy recipes that meet nutrition standards in the categories of whole grains, dry beans and peas, and dark green and orange vegetables.

Let's Move in School's National Physical Education and Sport Week: Register your school to host a Let's Move in School (LMIS) celebration during National Physical Education and Sport Week (May 1–7). Schools that register by March 28, 2011, will have a chance to win a visit from a member of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. The first 10,000 schools to register will receive a LMIS poster.

Healthy School Communities is a worldwide ASCD effort to promote the integration of health and learning and the benefits of school-community collaboration. It is part of a large, multiyear plan to shift public dialogue about education from a narrow, curriculum-centric and accountability system focus to a whole child approach that encompasses all factors required for successful student outcomes. Visit the Healthy School Communities group on ASCD EDge and share everything from ideas and solutions to common concerns.

Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Massachusetts Districts Implement Anti-Bullying Efforts: Many Massachusetts school districts are rolling out anti-bullying plans that were due to the state by the end of 2010. The plans vary widely by district, with many aimed at specific age groups and some incorporating elements of outreach to parents. State reviews of the plans are expected to be finished today, and districts with more work to do will be notified.

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Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Prohibition or Modeling of Good Nutrition?: In an online article, author Hank Cardello compares prohibition of selling junk food in schools to the nationwide prohibition of alcohol consumption in the 1920s. He claims that schools are wasting their efforts on an idea that won't work and only opens up the opportunity for black market candy selling. While this comparison seems a bit of a stretch, do you think Cardello has missed the point about the role of schools in modeling, teaching, and providing good nutrition? Or do you agree with Cardello's viewpoint that completely eliminating these foods doesn't teach students anything? Share your thoughts on ASCD EDge.

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Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Washington District's School Lunches Get a Healthy Upgrade with Fresh Foods: Washington State's Vashon Island School District gave cafeteria workers cooking lessons so they could prepare meals using fresh, locally grown ingredients and serve food the day it is made. Chef Tom French of the Experience Food Project, who is behind the healthy-food makeover, says schools also need to market the changes to students so they buy into the program.

Mobile Dental Clinic Reaches Underserved Children: After a child died from having an infected tooth and no access to dental care, one dentist was inspired to start a mobile dental clinic that serves poor children without access to dental care at their schools in Prince George's County, Md. The Deamonte Driver Dental Van's mission is to prevent other children from dying from untreated tooth decay.

Baltimore Schools Nutrition Chief Shares Successful Programs: Baltimore (Md.) public schools' food and nutrition director, Tony Geraci, is traveling around the United States to promote nutrition education and healthy-food programs, such as the Great Kids Farm, that have worked in his city. The district has overhauled its food-service program so that nearly all produce included in the student-designed school menus comes from Maryland farms.

No Free Lunch: The National School Lunch Program requires participating schools to provide nourishing meals for all students. Lately, however, more kids are showing up to school with no money to pay for meals. To accommodate these children, most schools provide an "alternate meal" that covers the bare minimum nutritional requirements—usually a cheese or peanut butter sandwich and a four-ounce box of juice or milk—which is paid for by increasing the regular price for kids who can pay. The slim offerings are expected to recruit more families who need financial help to apply for free and reduced-price meals for their children. The increased enrollment helps to lower the direct costs to the school, allowing the federal government to pick up more of the tab. How might the new mandate for schools to improve the nutritional quality of food affect schools' drive to increase free and reduced-price meals enrollment rates? Read more.

Resources

Social-Emotional Learning in Schools Makes a Difference: The peer-reviewed journal Child Development has published the first large-scale metaanalysis of school-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs. The research findings can be used as evidence of the positive effect of SEL on healthy child development.

Take Action

ASHA Extends Its Conference Proposal Deadline: Got a health-related teaching technique to share? How about evaluation findings of a school-based program or intervention? Consider submitting a proposal to present at whole child partner the American School Health Association's (ASHA) 85th annual conference this year in Louisville, Ky., October 12–15. The proposal submission deadline has been extended to March 31, 2011.

Consider Writing for Educational Leadership: Showcase your school community's success in making students and staff feel safe, valued, and connected by writing for Educational Leadership magazine. The theme for the September 2011 issue is "Promoting Respectful Schools." Review the guidelines for submission and the theme description:

Students who feel safe, valued, and hopeful in school are more likely to learn. This issue will explore how schools can promote respect for self and others—in both students and teachers. Which programs reduce bullying and promote respectful relationships? How can schools address prickly issues related to race, culture, and religion and teach such crucial skills as empathy and cultural sensitivity? We're interested in articles from teachers who are making classrooms safe places where students can learn from mistakes and articles from school leaders who are making staff feel valued and supported. We welcome international contributions and real-life stories of how schools have created physically, emotionally, and intellectually respectful learning environments.

Deadline: April 1, 2011

Healthy School Communities is a worldwide ASCD effort to promote the integration of health and learning and the benefits of school-community collaboration. It is part of a large, multiyear plan to shift public dialogue about education from a narrow, curriculum-centric and accountability system focus to a whole child approach that encompasses all factors required for successful student outcomes. Visit the Healthy School Communities group on ASCD EDge and share everything from ideas and solutions to common concerns.

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

School-Based Health Centers Keep Students Healthy and Learning

National SBHC Awareness Month

Post submitted by Linda Juszczak, executive director of Whole Child Partner the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care (NASBHC), the national voice for school-based health centers (SBHCs). Founded in 1995 to promote and support the SBHC model, NASBHC's mission is to improve the health status of children and youth by advancing and advocating for school-based health care. Follow NASBHC on Twitter @nasbhc.

February is National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month, and communities across the nation are celebrating more than 1,900 SBHCs for their work to provide access to primary medical care, mental health services, preventive care, social services, and youth development to nearly 2 million children and adolescents. This year's theme is "SBHCs Keep Students Healthy and Learning."

Poor academic outcomes and high dropout rates are major concerns of educators, policymakers, and parents alike—and poor health severely limits a child's motivation and ability to learn. SBHCs, the convergence of public health, primary care, and mental health, provide an optimal setting to foster learning readiness and academic achievement while giving children the resources they need to improve their health. SBHCs bring the doctor's office to the school so that students may avoid health-related absences and get support to succeed in the classroom.

Recent research confirms not only that poor health affects education achievement, but also that SBHCs can provide a solution:

  • High school SBHC users had a 50 percent decrease in absenteeism and a 25 percent decrease in tardiness two months after receiving school-based mental health counseling.
  • African American male SBHC users were three times more likely to stay in school than their peers who did not use an SBHC.
  • SBHC users of mental health services increased their grade point averages over time compared to nonusers.
  • Students, teachers, and parents who have an SBHC rated academic expectations, school engagement, and safety and respect significantly higher than in schools without an SBHC.

Visit NASBHC's Awareness Month web page at www.nasbhc.org/awarenessmonth to learn more about SBHCs and their effect on student success; access our tool kit on ways to garner support; browse SBHC stories, videos, and photos; and learn more about touring an SBHC in your community.

Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Raising Awareness and Reducing the Stigma of HIV: The entire senior class at Urban School in San Francisco, Calif., has taken on a group project that involves each student getting tested at school for HIV. The students hope to increase participation in and awareness of sexually active high school youth getting tested. Read more.

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Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Oklahoma High School Parents and Principal Frown at New School Lunch Guidelines: Not everyone seems pleased with the new efforts to improve school nutrition. Some critics say that the new guidelines will cost schools money when it's not certain students will even eat the healthier choices. Without buy-in from some parents, principals, and even students, how likely is it that the USDA's nutrition standards are going to have an effect? Comment on ASCD EDge.

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Klea Scharberg

Engaging Parents and Community in Schooling

Students spend the majority of their time outside of school, yet bridging the school-community gap can seem too difficult or beyond the reach and purpose of education. How much involvement do educators really want? Critics say that education policy reflects this uneasiness in its general neglect of meaningful parental engagement. How can schools fill the silence?

Should parent involvement be mandatory, as this San Jose school district proposes? Or are schools better served, in the long run, by initiatives that foster engagement? Larry Ferlazzo parses this difference in this blog post and shares an example in this issue of ASCD Express.

Also in the issue are resources and profiles of programs that have taken the leap into community-school partnerships and are reaping returns from these new connections.

Located in an isolated, rural area, Des Moines Municipal School (DMMS) in Des Moines, N. Mex., offers health and wellness resources to the underserved local community. As part of the Rural Revitalization Initiative and ASCD's Healthy School Communities, DMMS provides school-based physical, dental, and mental health care for students, staff, and surrounding communities. Programs like the Fruit Wizard make daily classroom deliveries of fresh fruits and vegetables to compensate for limited access to fresh produce in Des Moines. At DMMS, "The school is the community, and the community is the school."

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